Design protection/industrial designs in general

When in the creation process the aesthetic creation reaches its final shape, then the question regarding the legal protection of the shape of the design follows immediately afterwards. Here the law regarding industrial designs is paramount.

Registration of industrial designs (in German: “Geschmacksmuster”)

We gladly advice and support you in the field of protection and registration of industrial designs as well as regarding the defence of your rights, regarding accidental violation of prior trademarks as well as regarding seizure of the goods of infringers of rights.


By registration of a national, a European or an international industrial design (design patent) with the DPMA, EUIPO or WIPO the aesthetic creation gains comprehensive protection. Likewise also parts of creations can be protected under certain conditions.

Apart from the not registered community industrial design (in German: “ nicht eingetragenes Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster”), by which only the mere identity is protected, the protection of the design comes into existence in principle only at the time of the registration, more precisely: the registration of the industrial design with one of the above authorities. Therefore, especially regarding successful creative achievements, there often is the danger that counterfeiters may copy the achievements of the work unpunished.

Taking into consideration that the registration of industrial designs can be effectuated at quite low costs and that there even exists a “quantity discount” in case of multiple applications of product ideas regarding one and the same product group (for example: lamps as a collective term for most diverse applications, packaging out of synthetic material as a collective term for diverse shapes of packaging made of synthetic material), it is really astonishing that rather few product ideas are being registered.

Hiring a certified specialist lawyer for protection of intellectual property rights is helpful in order to avoid mistakes, which can lead to delays or even loss of rights.

Consequences of a missing registration of industrial designs:

Often creative inventors undergo the painful experience in case of an imitation that a copied product cannot be prevented without more ado if one has not applied for a registration in time, which means regarding industrial designs within one year after the first presentation in front of the public or towards potential customers.

The requirements of protection can be fulfilled quite easily:

  • There has to exist a product idea, which can be embodied in a design (namely a novel design)
  • Requirement is the “novelty” of the design at the time of application for registration (which means that one has to apply for registration not later than within one year after the first presentation towards customers or in front of the public).

Being specialist lawyers for the protection of intellectual property rights, we gladly advice and support you in the preliminary stage of the registration procedure and represent you regarding the registration of national, European and international industrial designs with the DPMA in Munich and Jena, the EUIPO in Alicante/Spain and the WIPO in Geneva/Switzerland.